Quarterly scientific journal

Public awareness and service provision for stroke in Northern Greece

Dimitrios Theofanidis , Antigoni Fountouki , Christos Savopoulos

Abstract

Stroke care comes increasingly difficult where there is austerity due to poor resource allocation and the demanding nature of the condition itself. This places special demands for updated clinical excellence and optimum organisation of scarce care services. Stroke remains a leading cause of mortality, as well as of subsequent serious long-term physical and mental morbidity. Thus, many western countries have developed and implemented public informative strategies. This cannot be easily ‘translated’ in Greece due to special features on the hospital administration system such as a unique rotation system for acute admissions. New policy decisions are needed to improve stroke services but these are deferred due to lack of funding and the technical knowhow required. Currently, Greece is not in a position to host a sophisticated Comprehensive Stroke Center, offering the highest level of specialized stroke prevention and stroke care. Yet, by creating short-term solutions as in the case of stroke bays, local experts would be able to provide the highest level of care from the second the patient is admitted to the emergency room through to his/her stroke recovery. Still, despite the adverse conditions, clinicians within the Greek health care system have been exceeding themselves in their attempt to provide optimum care outcomes.

Keywords: Stroke care, stroke units, nursing, austerity

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